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Monday, 17 September 2018

The South Downs Folk Singers sing at the Fernhurst Furnace Open Day

On Saturday 15th September 2018 sixteen of us sang lustily to entertain visitors and exhibitors alike at the Fernhurst Furnace Open Weekend. At this very enjoyable country fair we stepped back in time to an age when the Weald was home to important iron works, which manufactured cannons for the King’s Navy. As well as musket, cannon and longbow demonstrations and owl and hawk flying, there were many local artisans demonstrating the skills of the time: pole lathe turning, charcoal burning, spinning, blacksmithing and walking stick making. For over an hour in the morning we strolled like wandering minstrels singing songs all over the site, stopping to buy cakes and pies and glasses of beer. We sang Twanky Dillow to the blacksmiths, the Woodcutter’s Song to the woodmen, and several drinking songs to the brewers in the Greyhound Brewery tent. Then over lunch when everyone gathered to partake of the lamb roast (and the vegetarian homity pies) we sang a complete set of traditional Sussex songs which was very well received. In fact the organisers have written to us to say “Everyone thought you were magical and we thank you very much for your attendance, including Buster the spaniel!” Thanks must go to Dave who introduced the songs, Alan who conducted us and to all the singers who joined us and sang so well. I’m sure that we would all love to sing at this event again next year.

PS. Someone left a songbook behind at the site. If you have lost your songbook, let us know and we’ll try to get it back to you!

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